Historically, New Year’s has been a bringer of changes. Although often we focus on the personal, equally important for businesses is new trends in content marketing. In 2016, internet users will consume even more digital content than previous years, so it is important to get on top of the trend forecasting now – and get ready for the new year!

There will be even more content created

Compared to previous years, businesses in 2016 will create even more content – not just business to consumer (B2C), but business to business (B2B) as well. The high number of smartphone owners with internet connection make mobile content an increasingly important focus for business owners – but also means that consumers and other businesses online are receiving larger amounts of information at a more constant rate. At this peak information overload, it will be even more difficult to get the attention of your preferred audience. The answer? High quality, personalized content.

Video is the future!

The amount of video that now crosses IP networks monthly is staggering. It would take an individual 5 million years to watch just one month’s traffic – and that amount is only increasing. Thanks to wireless connection and internet speed increases, people have more access to video while on the go. Combined with a written content market that continues to become oversaturated and increasingly impatient users, the demand for high quality visual communication is sky rocketing. Cisco research states that video will account for 80 percent of internet traffic in 2019, up from 67 percent in 2014.

Online videos are no longer simply for entertainment purposes, either. They are also an important source of information, as well as a prevalent form of advertisement. As I have previously written, using videos in your customer service can be a great alternative to traditional assistance, and I am sure that you have noticed an ad before a YouTube video. The three biggest search engines – Google, Yahoo, and Bing – are even getting into the game, and testing video ads in search results.

Personalize your content

The best way to stay ahead of your competition in 2016 is personalizing your content for users. Online business owners should get to know their customers by reading social media where their customers are active. Use these posts to find out if they have any issues with your product, but moreover to see what their interests are apart from your business. Analyze their and your competitors’ social media and blog posts from the past, and use these to create content tailored specifically for them. Targeting and audience segmentation is key for this step.

More content publishing opportunities?

2016 will surprise us with fresh opportunities for content publishing. Interactive content will emerge, as consumers are already more accustomed to individualized results in the digital world. This will switch to personalized content, and a demand that content shifts to users prompts. The unveiling of Oculus Rift and other virtual reality headsets may be the first realistic step in the direction of consumer directed content.

Other mediums we already know may shift how they operate. Twitter is building a new product that will allow users to write tweets longer than their trademark 140 characters, allowing long form content to be shared. Facebook is experimenting with allowing articles to be published straight to their “Instant Articles” platform, rather than being shared in various newsfeeds. Google is soon introducing their own version as well, so expect new content publishing platforms to spread across various social mediums.

Get ready for 2016

Although 2016 will be another record year in terms of content marketing and consumption, you should not be nervous going into the new year. Instead, use this year as a chance to outdo your previous years. Try to create visual aids or ads that add to your online business. Do not use an algorithm for publishing – make it original.

Most of all, do not neglect your audience: use your resources and listen to your customers, so you can present them content tailored to their needs. If you do these things, you will stand out from the crowd – and more importantly, you will stand out from your competitors.

Happy New Year’s!